The Muse and the Marketplace 2021 is almost here! This year’s conference is taking the form of a virtual enhanced writing residency (taking place Wednesday, April 21st – Sunday, April 25th) with new Premium Workshops and the Manuscript Mart (taking place Wednesday, April 28th – Sunday, May 2nd).
This year’s conference theme is “Small Victories.” We all know what the “big” victories are (landing an agent, snagging a book deal, or getting a flashy award), but this year we aim to celebrate the equally important, tiny, and often unseen victories of our writing lives. In anticipation of the conference, we’ve asked Muse 2021 presenting authors to describe one small victory they’ve had as a writer that nobody knows about. Our next presenter in the series is Julie Carrick Dalton, author of Waiting for the Night Song.
My debut novel, Waiting for the Night Song, launched into the deadliest week of the pandemic, days after the insurrection, while Articles of Impeachment were being drafted. I worried the noise would swallow my little book set in the mountains of New Hampshire.
My novel centers on a fierce friendship tested by trauma and time, but it also tackles heavy topics – including climate change. Some readers found it too political and suggested I was pushing a worldview. The truth is, I do have an agenda. I want more people to talk about climate change as it is happening now. The climate crisis is not a looming, future event. In many regions of the world (including parts of the US) the climate apocalypse has already arrived. The communities affected first and worst often tend to be Black, Brown, Indigenous, or poor communities. To believe the climate crisis has not already arrived is a position of privilege.
A few weeks after my launch, Night Song landed in the lap of a blogger who started her review by saying she doesn’t pay attention to climate change, rarely watches the news, and hates politics. I braced myself for a scathing review. She did, however, connect with my characters and story. Because she empathized with the plight of my characters, she said she now takes the climate crisis seriously.
In the midst of global and national crises, my little book found the exact reader for whom I’d written it. She only gave my book four stars, but I consider it a five-star victory!
Julie Carrick Dalton is the author of Waiting for the Night Song (Tor/Forge, Macmillan), a contemporary novel about friendships forged in childhood magic and ruptured by secrets that leave you forever changed. Set against the backdrop of rural New Hampshire, Waiting for Night Song is a love letter to the natural world, a call to fight for what we believe in, and a reminder that the truth will always rise. Her second novel, The Last Beekeeper, launches in 2022.
You can catch Julie‘s virtual craft discussion with Nancy Johnson, “The Top Secrets to Becoming a Traditionally Published Novelist: Passion, Purpose, and Perseverance,” via Attendify at the Muse 2021 from 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (EDT) on April 21st, 2021.
Don’t wait! Register for the Muse and the Marketplace 2021 today.